The Colosseum is known for the spectacular and bloody fights of gladiators and wild animals, but when the ancient times ended, silence fell upon the forgotten ruins and a new life for the monument started. Actually many different lives.
The building, symbol of a pagan authority that persecuted the Christians, was looted for centuries and cursed with dark legends. Only in 1750 the pope ruling Rome decided to rededicate the monument and free it from the bad presences that haunted it. This pope was Benedict XIV who raised a cross in the center of the Arena field and 14 altars to commemorate the passion of Christ in preparation for Easter.
The pagan monument became a center of pilgrimage and the stage where every Holy Friday the “Walk of Christ” (Via Crucis) was performed. With the archeological excavations these traces of a Catholic use have been canceled, but the procession still takes place. For 2017 the superintendence of Rome has decided to restore and rebuild one of the 14 altars that will be unveiled for the procession of April, 14.
A great occasion to see something old and new, pagan and Christian at the same time, that truly symbolises the spirit of this city and its never-ending, beautiful contradictions.